Comprehensive Nondestructive Roof Waterproofing Testing Service
- Finds problem areas where wet insulation is hidden in a flat roof
- Save money on expensive roof repairs and replacement
- Safety – Minimize risk of roof failure due to structural damage
- Save maintenance costs by pinpointing problem areas within the roof
- Wet Insulation causes rapid energy loss, so an inspection saves time and money
- Identify minor issues before they become big problems
- Identify ruptures in the membrane so they can be fixed without delay
How Freezing Temperatures Can Damage Rubber and Membrane Commercial Flat Roofs
Winter can take a toll on just about any structure, but this is especially true with flat roofs. If the roof shows signs of wear, it can be even more susceptible to sub-freezing temperatures.
During the day, higher temperatures cause the structure to expand, and at night when the mercury drops, the building contracts. This constant flexing of the structure takes a toll on the roofing system, which eventually causes leaks.
Understanding Elasticity in Membrane and Rubber Roofs
A rubber commercial flat roofing system is similar to an elastic cord. As you stretch the cord to its limit and then release the pressure, you will begin to notice changes to its makeup. Changes in the elasticity of the cord becomes even greater if you add extreme temperature changes to the equation.
Rubber and membrane roofs are much the same, an once even the smallest seam is compromised, leaks will begin to form.
Ice Dams & How They Cause Damage
While ice is seldom the cause of rubber or membrane roof damage, ice dams can create issues within the membrane and increase the likelihood of leaks. Ice dams cause water to build up anywhere water collects due to poor drainage. When this ice expands during the freezing process it causes leaks to expand along with it.
Freezing and thawing keeps forcing the openings larger, further compromising the integrity of the roof. finding these issues before they become major problems will ultimately save a lot of hassle and cost.
Save Money with Help from a Qualified and Experienced Roof Inspector
All roofs, no matter what material they are made from, will eventually require repairs or replacement. The question is how long will your current roof system remain viable. If your roof isn’t properly maintained, it will only take a few winters for its structural integrity to be compromised. Ignoring issues can even lead to the sub-structure of the roof becoming damaged.
A qualified roof inspector finds issues before they become major headaches, so that you save money in the long run.
Ice Formation on Roofs – An Overview
In northern climates, formation of ice on roofs is common during the winter months. On roofs with bad drainage, the ice may seldom be seen, but homeowners may be signaled to its presence by loud popping and cracking noises at night. On sloping roofs, icicles often form, and residents may be aware of the existence of ice because of leaks into the building.
However, flat roofs inherently have depressions that cause water to collect when snow melts. This water may then freeze when temperatures drop. This thawing and freezing may be repeated over and over again. While the roof is built to withstand these tensions, if the water penetrates cracks or holes in the roofing, then the force of the ice’s expansion causes the membrane to tear. The threat of this kind of damage can be reduced significantly if flat roofs are built with adequate sloping to interior drains.
Suitable Conditions for Ice Dam Formation
There are a few factors that go into the formation of ice dams on a flat roof:
- Snow accumulation on a sloping roof
- Below freezing temperatures
- Heat loss from building that causes snow to melt
- A place where ice can form
The rate of snow melt on a roof also depends of a variety of factors:
- Snow depth
- Wind speed and direction
- The type of roof construction
- Temperatures inside the structure
Ice dams begin to form when melting snow drains from the underside of the snow mass, and then flow to the eaves. Water that flows over the eaves forms icicles, and as the ice accumulates its overall mass increases. Then, when temperatures rise above the freezing threshold, the ice melts at its point of contact with the eaves, and this is when falling ice becomes a safety hazard.
Multiple factors affect the rate of ice dam formation, including the rate of melting and shape of the roof. If there is an intersection of sloped roof valleys, snow collection may be more prominent at the low end of the valley.
This can cause the formation of massive ice dams. This may also be true in places where the roof overhangs unheated spaces, such as a porch.
Wrapping Things Up
Ice dam formation causes often causes leaks in areas most susceptible to their formation. The main cause of snow melt is heat loss through the structure, although heat from the sun is another viable factor.